Friday, March 25, 2011

The Southern Appalachians

We spent Friday and Saturday nights at Old Federal Campground. Our campsite was right on Lake Lanier and Saturday was a gorgeous day. The only problem was that the campground was a Army Corps of Engineer campground so Bill had to hid his beer again as no alcohol is permitted.

We then drove to Cherokee North Carolina, the southern end of Great Smokey Mountain National Park. We had been here last summer while Bill was working in Knoxville but this time we got to spend 4 nights staying at Harrah's Casino parking lot boondocking.'s_Cherokee

Mingus Mill - Smoky Mt National Park

At this time of year the problem with the diseased hemlocks is not so evident as it was last summer mostly because all the deciduous trees do not have their leaves yet.

This time of year there were quite a few small waterfalls along the road that we did not see last year as they probably had dried up by mid summer and this was the spring run off from the snow in the mountains.

We were able to travel the first 50 miles or so of the northbound Blue Ridge Parkway. It was beautiful of course, but we imagine it is much more scenic in the summer and especially in October when all the leaves are changing. It must be so as rates for just about everything are listed as double the price in October. At this time of year the leaves are not on the trees yet so everything looks quite dead.

We stopped at a visitor center at Waterrock Knob and Bill and Junior had to prove they were in shape so they hiked to the summit which is at 6292 feet. Of couse today his lower back hurts so much he can hardly walk. But he made it all the way to the top. Some of the views from his hike are in the following video.

Fast forward to today in Spruce Pine North Carolina and the temperature is heading downward to below freezing tonight....what happened to spring?

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